Three colours dominate the landscape: blue, gold, and copper.
Crystal, clear blue water stretches ceaselessly for as far as the eye can see, gradually fading away to a dazzling sky blue. The sky – a pure, blue sheet free from the contaminating clutches of clouds – is absolutely breathtaking.
Tiny shimmers of light sparkle here and there as the sunlight reflects off the water. The pristine water moves lazily around the island, gently caressing the shore. Unaffected by the delicate trickles of water gliding onto the beach, fine sand covers the land in an even blanket of gold.
Poppy sits on the beach, facing towards the blue void in front of her. Two copper braids hang like motionless rope from her head. As if the world is holding its breath, everything is still.
Everything but her hand and her thoughts.
Poppy unremittingly scoops up a handful of the soft sand and watches it delicately fall from her hand. Thousands upon thousands of beautifully golden sand trickles from my hand like a stream from heaven. Thousands upon thousands, with each grain as perfect as the last.
The cycle of letting the sand flow from her little hand continues without interruption. Poppy sits undisturbed on the beach for the rest of the afternoon, soaking in the warmth from the sun, listening to the gentle movement of the water, and feeling the smooth sand run through her hand.
Suddenly, Poppy freezes. The sand finishes flowing through her hand; however, something is not right. Trembling, she holds her fist before her, feeling the weight of something hard in her hand. She slowly opens her hand and gasps. Lying on her palm is a spiraling, white shell.
Poppy stands, clutching the tiny shell to her chest. She stares at the darkening sky before her. Ominous storm clouds roll in and pollute the scene. The wind picks up, causing waves to rise and crash onto the shore. Her copper braids whip wildly behind her. Thousands upon thousands of identical grains of sand envelope this beach in an endless sea of perfection. This tiny, white shell in my hands contaminates the gold sea, yet it is so beautiful: a delicate spiral so unique from the uniform sand that surrounds me.
Poppy’s eyes grow wide. She sets off sprinting down the beach towards her village, copper braids flopping behind her. Of the thousands upon thousands of grains of golden sand on the beach, it took only one tiny, white shell to make her realise the true meaning of perfection.